Last week, we left the shattered remains of Gotham City with an exhausted boy begging Jim Gordon for help. With a profound lack of Penguin this week, Episode 2 instead focuses predominantly on Bruce Wayne and Jim Gordon as they embark on separate missions to save those in need of help. While the episode lacks the same big set-piece driven action and meaningful plot development the first episode had, the final few scenes are likely to be a highlight for fans of the show. In many ways, Trespassers follows the rigid formula of Gotham episodes gone by with the added danger of feeling like Gotham could implode at any moment.
The story this week sees Jim gather his limited forces at the precinct, determined to drive into The Dark Zone where a whole group of kids are being held captive. It turns out they’ve been forced to dig a tunnel to the mainland at the hands of a ruthless gang. After navigating a myriad of dangerous locations, Jim finds himself caught in the crossfire between two rival gangs who erupt into a flurry of gunfire. It’s at this point where Jim finds help from the most unlikely of sources with one promise in return – kill Penguin and end this nightmare.
Interspersed between Jim Gordon’s heroic rescue are two predominant storylines, one involving Bruce Wayne and the other, The Riddler. The latter sees Ed wake up chained to a bed, patting himself on the back for beating his sleep walking problem. Only to find out he’s captured and evidently tortured a street gang member who’s left tied up in his bath. After some less-than-friendly negotiations, the gang member reluctantly takes Ed to his hideout only to find someone’s been there before him and left a message on the wall, with all fingers pointing at The Penguin.
Rounding out this trio of stories is Bruce Wayne’s journey into the depths of Gotham’s underbelly to find The Witch to help Salina. Once he arrives, it turns out the witch is actually Poison Ivy who’s ensnared various people who’s stumbled into her territory. After a tense confrontation, she agrees to help for the sake of Salina, giving Bruce something that’ll help herget better. It’s at this point where the episode cuts to the final credits, teasing the beginnings of Salina’s origin story and her destined transformation into Catwoman.
While the episode itself doesn’t push the overall narrative of Gotham forward, it does set up some intriguing questions going forward. In true Gotham fashion, the episodes are chock full of action accompanied by many twists and turns along the way. If there’s one thing Gotham’s always done well, it’s embracing the manic nature of Gotham’s various colourful inhabitants and this episode is no exception. The Riddler is one of the stand outs here, and has been since very early in the show’s run. Given there’s only 12 episodes to play with this season, it’ll be a real shame if the bulk of that time is used up with his amnesia rather than the manic Riddle-obsessed villain we’ve come to know over the years.
Along with the great acting that perfectly captures the persona for many of Gotham’s heroes and villains, it’s worth mentioning the underrated camera work and use of colour here too. There’s some really nice 45 degree angled shots throughout the episode and they’re used perfectly to really capture the off-kilter feel of Gotham. The use of colour, although slightly predictable, changes from dull and grey to full of vibrant brightness toward the end of the episode too, a nice touch to reflect Jim successfully completing his mission.
With a profound lack of Penguin this week, the trio of stories at play here work really well together. These are perfectly balanced through the majority of the episode’s run time too and for the most part, does well to hold your attention until the final scenes. This is likely to be the talking point this week though and it’ll be really interesting to see where they go with Bruce Wayne’s story. Of course, a lot of this season has been focused on the various villains and the ongoing feuds that are gripping Gotham’s new world order but Bruce’s transformation into Batman is something everyone is waiting to see. I’m guessing we’re going to be given a fair amount of character development for Master Wayne this season, perhaps ending with Batman saving the day in the finale. It’s still early days though but like the inhabitants of Gotham City, we’re hungry for more. Also to note, Part of this episode was filmed only two blocks from where my girlfriend lives and this was great to see on screen.
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